Strongly leaning toward trying your products for migration
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Thread: Strongly leaning toward trying your products for migration

  1. #1
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Strongly leaning toward trying your products for migration

    Good Evening!

    I've been tasked with a combination migration/upgrade of a multi-server Zimbra system. When I posted some of the details of where we are and where we want to go on the Zimbra forums, one of the moderators suggested using your migration method. We're currently running a 4 server ZCS 7.2.2 NE system (1 x ldap, 2 x mta, 1 x mailbox) on SLES 11 running natively on HP servers, and we want to migrate to a 3 server ZCS 8.0.7 NE system (1 x proxy, 2 x ldap/mta/mailbox) on Ubuntu 12.04.4LTS running on vSphere 5.5 VMs. I keep running into serious problems (proxy configuration not working, and now zmmailboxmove barfing...) I've already opened 2 support tickets with Zimbra while we're still in the pilot phase!

    Will Zextras allow us to migrate to a different server set up? What I mean is that we're currently on a 4 server configuration on ZCS 7.2.2 NE, running on SLES 11, 1 x ldap, 2 x mta, 1 x mailbox, all running on HP servers. The mailbox server is 8Gb FC multipath connected to an EMC CX3-40 array.

    We're looking to migrate to a 3 server ZCS 8.0.7 (or newer) NE, running on Ubuntu 12.04.4LTS vSphere 5.5 VMs, connected by 10Gb iSCSI to a Nimble array. Two servers would be mutli-role, ldap/mta/mailbox, with the third server being a proxy.

    From the URL the moderator responded to me with, it appears that ZeXtras will back up the existing system, and from there, the import utility will populate the new system. It looks like it will allow individual domains to be relocated, if need be, which could be useful to us, as our Zimbra system currently hosts 10 active domains. We've got just shy of 1500 users, and our Zimbra mail/message/db stores hold about 600GB (not counting backups).

    One of the issues we need to overcome is the simple fact that a catastrophic failure of our Zimbra system as it is now could take our mail system down for as long as 72 hours, so we want to get into a vSphere environment that will help limit the possibility of a hardware failure. We will also spread the users out over 2 mailbox servers, which will hopefully increase performance, while reducing the time a total restore of the mail system would take. We'll also be replicating the VM data to our "hot site" where we should be able to bring up our backup system should our main site go down completely.

    I guess my questions are:
    1) Will the import facility of ZeXtras "take care of" the object and schema changes when it imports the old zimbra system (v7) into the new system (v8)
    2) Will ZeXtras allow us to determine which mailbox servers in the new system will host individual users?
    3) Could a migration of this scale occur on a single Sunday, or will something of this scale take a few days. And if so, can it be done as a "rolling migration?"

    Thanks for your time.


  2. #2
    ZeXtras Community Manager ZeXtras Employee Cine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Hello mhlevy,
    welcome to the forums!

    I'm really glad you are thinking about trying our products, and rest assured that both me and the community will provide you with any help you might need, starting from the answers to your 3 questions

    1) Migrations between different Zimbra major versions are fully supported by ZeXtras Suite, as the software works at a higher level than mysql/ldap/disk and thus any item and setting is imported according to the destination server's Zimbra version without any low-level change.

    2) The server your accounts will be imported into is the one on which the restore is started: as you might have read in the ZeXtras Wiki, the "core" component of ZeXtras Suite must be installed in all servers running the mailboxd service, thus enabling you to start 1 restore per server. Both the ZeXtras Administration Zimlet and the ZeXtras CLI allow you to chose which domains and accounts you want to import, so you both get to split your accounts on multiple servers and to run 2 imports at the same time thus optimizing your migration time.

    3) You can migrate your accounts and domains in batches using ZeXtras Suite on both the source and destination server and following the "Incremental Migration Guide". Unfortunately it's hard to give an estimate about the duration of the migration as it highly depends on your hardware specs and setup, on your current server's health and on how your data is currently organized (e.g. data in a 600gb compressed store will obviously take more time to be migrated than data in a 600gb uncompressed store).

    To speed up the migration the standard data concurrency rules apply - e.g. avoid having multiple servers reading/writing data to the same disk as much as possible, spread your mountpoint between different disks, etc -along with the usual pre-update suggestions such as checking your disk and database health.
    ZeXtras Suite-specific tips include avoiding the "Apply HSM Policy during restore" feature, which has been recently discussed, and to make sure that both servers are properly configured (Zimbra's JVM settings are critical, as a mailboxd crash will interrupt the operation - which can be reprised at any time from where it left, by the way).

    Run some tests - either on your current Zimbra NE or on an OSE install as the migration process is exactly the same, ask any questions that arise and clear any doubts: this will make your migration a breeze!

    Have a nice day,
    the ZeXtras Team

  3. #3
    Active Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Thank you very much. Actually, I'm trying to install your Migration Tool on our test system right now, and I'm having a problem just getting it installed, so I'm going to open a new thread on that.

    Thanks again!



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